volume 37, issue 4, P413-429 2015
DOI: 10.1007/s40656-015-0081-y
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Abstract: A widespread and influential characterization of synthetic biology emphasizes that synthetic biology is the application of engineering principles to living systems. Furthermore, there is a strong tendency to express the engineering approach to organisms in terms of what seems to be an ontological claim: organisms are machines. In the paper I investigate the ontological and heuristic significance of the machine analogy in synthetic biology. I argue that the use of the machine analogy and the aim of producing ra…

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